ABSTRACT: Spinster homolog 2 (Spns2) acts as a Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) transporter in zebrafish and mice, regulating heart development and lymphocyte trafficking respectively. S1P is a biologically active lysophospholipid with multiple roles in signalling. The mechanism of action of Spns2 is still elusive in mammals. Here, we report that Spns2-deficient mice rapidly lost auditory sensitivity and endocochlear potential (EP) from 2 to 3 weeks old. We found progressive degeneration of sensory hair cells in the organ of Corti, but the earliest defect was a decline in the EP, suggesting that dysfunction of the lateral wall was the primary lesion. In the lateral wall of adult mutants, we observed structural changes of marginal cell boundaries and of strial capillaries, and reduced expression of several key proteins involved in the generation of the EP (Kcnj10, Kcnq1, Gjb2 and Gjb6), but these changes were likely to be secondary. Permeability of the boundaries of the stria vascularis and of the strial capillaries appeared normal. We also found focal retinal degeneration and anomalies of retinal capillaries together with anterior eye defects in Spns2 mutant mice. Targeted inactivation of Spns2 in red blood cells, platelets, or lymphatic or vascular endothelial cells did not affect hearing, but targeted ablation of Spns2 in the cochlea using a Sox10-Cre allele produced a similar auditory phenotype to the original mutation, suggesting that local Spns2 expression is critical for hearing in mammals. These findings indicate that Spns2 is required for normal maintenance of the EP and hence for normal auditory function, and support a role for S1P signalling in hearing.
Project description:Progressive hearing loss is very common in the population but we still know little about the underlying pathology. A new spontaneous mouse mutation (stonedeaf, stdf?) leading to recessive, early-onset progressive hearing loss was detected and exome sequencing revealed a Thr289Arg substitution in Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor-2 (S1pr2). Mutants aged 2 weeks had normal hearing sensitivity, but at 4 weeks most showed variable degrees of hearing impairment, which became severe or profound in all mutants by 14 weeks. Endocochlear potential (EP) was normal at 2 weeks old but was reduced by 4 and 8 weeks old in mutants, and the stria vascularis, which generates the EP, showed degenerative changes. Three independent mouse knockout alleles of S1pr2 have been described previously, but this is the first time that a reduced EP has been reported. Genomic markers close to the human S1PR2 gene were significantly associated with auditory thresholds in the 1958 British Birth Cohort (n?=?6099), suggesting involvement of S1P signalling in human hearing loss. The finding of early onset loss of EP gives new mechanistic insight into the disease process and suggests that therapies for humans with hearing loss due to S1P signalling defects need to target strial function.
Project description:Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is lipid messenger involved in the regulation of embryonic development, immune system functions, and many other physiological processes. However, the mechanisms of S1P transport across cellular membranes remain poorly understood, with several ATP-binding cassette family members and the spinster 2 (Spns2) member of the major facilitator superfamily known to mediate S1P transport in cell culture. Spns2 was also shown to control S1P activities in zebrafish in vivo and to play a critical role in zebrafish cardiovascular development. However, the in vivo roles of Spns2 in mammals and its involvement in the different S1P-dependent physiological processes have not been investigated. In this study, we characterized Spns2-null mouse line carrying the Spns2(tm1a(KOMP)Wtsi) allele (Spns2(tm1a)). The Spns2(tm1a/tm1a) animals were viable, indicating a divergence in Spns2 function from its zebrafish ortholog. However, the immunological phenotype of the Spns2(tm1a/tm1a) mice closely mimicked the phenotypes of partial S1P deficiency and impaired S1P-dependent lymphocyte trafficking, with a depletion of lymphocytes in circulation, an increase in mature single-positive T cells in the thymus, and a selective reduction in mature B cells in the spleen and bone marrow. Spns2 activity in the nonhematopoietic cells was critical for normal lymphocyte development and localization. Overall, Spns2(tm1a/tm1a) resulted in impaired humoral immune responses to immunization. This study thus demonstrated a physiological role for Spns2 in mammalian immune system functions but not in cardiovascular development. Other components of the S1P signaling network are investigated as drug targets for immunosuppressive therapy, but the selective action of Spns2 may present an advantage in this regard.
Project description:The sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) transporter Spns2 regulates myocardial precursor migration in zebrafish and lymphocyte trafficking in mice. However, its function in cancer has not been investigated. We show here that ectopic Spns2 expression induced apoptosis and its knockdown enhanced cell migration in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Metabolically, Spns2 expression increased the extracellular S1P level while its knockdown the intracellular. Pharmacological inhibition of S1P synthesis abolished the augmented cell migration mediated by Spns2 knockdown, indicating that intracellular S1P plays a key role in this process. Cell signaling studies indicated that Spns2 expression impaired GSK-3? and Stat3 mediated pro-survival pathways. Conversely, these pathways were activated by Spns2 knockdown, which explains the increased cell migration since they are also crucial for migration. Alterations of Spns2 were found to affect several enzymes involved in S1P metabolism, including sphingosine kinases, S1P phosphatases, and S1P lyase 1. Genetically, Spns2 mRNA level was found to be reduced in advanced lung cancer (LC) patients as quantified by using a small scale qPCR array. These data show for the first time that Spns2 plays key roles in regulating the cellular functions in NSCLC cells, and that its down-regulation is a potential risk factor for LC.
Project description:Plasma sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) regulates vascular permeability, and plasma and lymph S1P guide lymphocyte egress from lymphoid organs. S1P is made intracellularly, and little is known about how S1P is delivered into circulatory fluids. Here, we find that mice without the major facilitator superfamily transporter Spns2 have a profound reduction in lymph S1P, but only a minor decrease in plasma S1P. Spns2-deficient mice have a redistribution of lymphocytes from the spleen to lymph nodes and a loss of circulating lymphocytes, consistent with normal egress from the spleen directed by plasma S1P and blocked egress from lymph nodes directed by lymph S1P. Spns2 is needed in endothelial cells to supply lymph S1P and support lymphocyte circulation. As a differential requirement for lymph and blood S1P, Spns2 may be an attractive target for immune suppressive drugs.
Project description:Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a sphingolipid metabolite that is produced inside the cells, regulates a variety of physiological and pathological responses via S1P receptors (S1P1-5). Signal transduction between cells consists of three steps; the synthesis of signaling molecules, their export to the extracellular space and their recognition by receptors. An S1P concentration gradient is essential for the migration of various cell types that express S1P receptors, such as lymphocytes, pre-osteoclasts, cancer cells and endothelial cells. To maintain this concentration gradient, plasma S1P concentration must be at a higher level. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism by which S1P is supplied to extracellular environments such as blood plasma. Here, we show that SPNS2 functions as an S1P transporter in vascular endothelial cells but not in erythrocytes and platelets. Moreover, the plasma S1P concentration of SPNS2-deficient mice was reduced to approximately 60% of wild-type, and SPNS2-deficient mice were lymphopenic. Our results demonstrate that SPNS2 is the first physiological S1P transporter in mammals and is a key determinant of lymphocyte egress from the thymus.
Project description:The bioactive lysophospholipid mediator sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) promotes the egress of newly formed T cells from the thymus and the release of immature B cells from the bone marrow. It has remained unclear, however, where and how S1P is released. Here, we show that in mice, the S1P transporter spinster homolog 2 (Spns2) is responsible for the egress of mature T cells and immature B cells from the thymus and bone marrow, respectively. Global Spns2-KO mice exhibited marked accumulation of mature T cells in thymi and decreased numbers of peripheral T cells in blood and secondary lymphoid organs. Mature recirculating B cells were reduced in frequency in the bone marrow as well as in blood and secondary lymphoid organs. Bone marrow reconstitution studies revealed that Spns2 was not involved in S1P release from blood cells and suggested a role for Spns2 in other cells. Consistent with these data, endothelia-specific deletion of Spns2 resulted in defects of lymphocyte egress similar to those observed in the global Spns2-KO mice. These data suggest that Spns2 functions in ECs to establish the S1P gradient required for T and B cells to egress from their respective primary lymphoid organs. Furthermore, Spns2 could be a therapeutic target for a broad array of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Project description:Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a pleiotropic bioactive sphingolipid metabolite that regulates numerous processes important for immune responses. S1P is made within cells and must be transported out of cells to exert its effects through activation of 5 specific cell surface GPCRs in an autocrine or paracrine fashion. Spinster 2 (Spns2) transports S1P out of cells, and its deletion in mice reduces circulating levels of S1P, alters immune cell trafficking, and induces lymphopenia. Here we examined the effects of Spns2 deletion on adaptive immune responses and in autoimmune disease models. Airway inflammation and hypersensitivity as well as delayed-type contact hypersensitivity were attenuated in Spns2(-/-) mice. Similarly, Spns2 deletion reduced dextran sodium sulfate- and oxazolone-induced colitis. Intriguingly, Spns2(-/-) mice were protected from the development of experimental autoimmune encephalopathy, a model of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis. Deletion of Spns2 also strongly alleviated disease development in collagen-induced arthritis. These results point to a broad role for Spns2-mediated S1P transport in the initiation and development of adaptive immune related disorders.
Project description:The lipid mediator sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a regulator of cardiac development in zebrafish, as disruption of its receptor s1pr2 or transporter spns2 causes migration defects in cardiac progenitors. To examine the genetic interaction of S1P signaling and the cell adhesion molecule fibronectin, we have established a fn;spns2 double mutant. Cardiac migration defects in fn;spns2 mutants were more severe than those in fn or spns2 mutants. We further found that the lower jaw morphology was disorganized in the fn;spns2 mutant, while it had a slightly shortened anterior-posterior distance in the ventral pharyngeal arch in fn and spns2 mutants relative to wild type. Knockdown of fn in the s1pr2 mutant, but not in the s1pr1 mutant, resulted in severe defects in cardiac migration and ventral pharyngeal arch arrangement. Further, in the background of the fn mutant, knockdown of endothelin receptor A (ednra), which was downregulated in the spns2 mutant, caused pharyngeal defects resembling those in the fn;spns2 mutant. These results strongly suggest that Spns2-S1PR2 signaling and fibronectin cooperatively regulate both cardiac and lower jaw development in zebrafish.
Project description:Accumulating evidence indicates that neuroinflammation contributes to the pathogenesis and exacerbation of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a pleiotropic bioactive lipid that regulates many pathophysiological processes including inflammation. We present evidence here that the spinster homolog 2 (Spns2), a S1P transporter, promotes microglia pro-inflammatory activation in vitro and in vivo. Spns2 knockout (Spns2KO) in primary cultured microglia resulted in significantly reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and amyloid-beta peptide 1-42 oligomers (A?42) when compared with littermate controls. Fingolimod (FTY720), a S1P receptor 1 (S1PR1) functional antagonist and FDA approved drug for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, partially blunted A?42-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine generation, suggesting that Spns2 promotes microglia pro-inflammatory activation through S1P-signaling. Spns2KO significantly reduced A?42-induced nuclear factor kappa B (NF?B) activity. S1P increased, while FTY720 dampened, A?42-induced NF?B activity, suggesting that Spns2 activates microglia inflammation through, at least partially, NF?B pathway. Spns2KO mouse brains showed significantly reduced A?42-induced microglia activation/accumulation and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines when compared with age-matched controls. More interestingly, Spns2KO ameliorated A?42-induced working memory deficit detected by Y-Maze. In summary, these results suggest that Spns2 promotes pro-inflammatory polarization of microglia and may play a crucial role in AD pathogenesis.
Project description:We have previously established a link between impaired phagocytic capacity and deregulated S1P signaling in alveolar macrophages from COPD subjects. We hypothesize that this defect may include a disruption of epithelial-macrophage crosstalk via Spns2-mediated intercellular S1P signaling.Primary alveolar macrophages and bronchial epithelial cells from COPD subjects and controls, cell lines, and a mouse model of chronic cigarette smoke exposure were studied. Cells were exposed to 10% cigarette smoke extract, or vehicle control. Spns2 expression and subcellular localization was studied by immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy and RT-PCR. Phagocytosis was assessed by flow-cytometry. Levels of intra- and extracellular S1P were measured by S1P [3H]-labeling.Spns2 expression was significantly increased (p<0.05) in alveolar macrophages from current-smokers/COPD patients (n = 5) compared to healthy nonsmokers (n = 8) and non-smoker lung transplant patients (n = 4). Consistent with this finding, cigarette smoke induced a significant increase in Spns2 expression in both human alveolar and THP-1 macrophages. In contrast, a remarkable Spns2 down-regulation was noted in response to cigarette smoke in 16HBE14o- cell line (p<0.001 in 3 experiments), primary nasal epithelial cells (p<0.01 in 2 experiments), and in smoke-exposed mice (p<0.001, n = 6 animals per group). Spns2 was localized to cilia in primary bronchial epithelial cells. In both macrophage and epithelial cell types, Spns2 was also found localized to cytoplasm and the nucleus, in line with a predicted bipartile Nuclear Localization Signal at the position aa282 of the human Spns2 sequence. In smoke-exposed mice, alveolar macrophage phagocytic function positively correlated with Spns2 protein expression in bronchial epithelial cells.Our data suggest that the epithelium may be the major source for extracellular S1P in the airway and that there is a possible disruption of epithelial/macrophage cross talk via Spns2-mediated S1P signaling in COPD and in response to cigarette smoke exposure.